For many years music videos have become more popular with only one purpose and is the representation of a visual image that demonstrate a certain event or a special meaning. The music video “Take me to Church” directed by Brendan Canty and Conal Thomson make a visual representation in which the audience can identify one of the most relevant issues that are happening in today’s society towards homosexuality and the discrimination against gay couples, in addition one of the principal purposes why this music video is so relevant in the society is due to the discrimination toward gay couples and homosexuality in general. Therefore, this issue not only gives the music video a strong meaning, but also the lyric since make a strong argument with all of the metaphoric expressions that the songwriter gives in his song.
Take me to Church a song compose by the Irish artist Andrew Hozier Byrne give a clear view of what exactly means being gay in the society specially what it means for a Catholic Church knowing its discrimination against homosexuality, as we know the music video made a clear statement about homosexuality, discrimination and more important the lack of freedom. The music video is shown on black and white colors that in my point of view represent the way society see gender since that homosexuality is an unresolved issue in many countries such as Ireland and Russia, the music video is a big representation of mise en scene since the setting of this video is created to catch the audience attention.
The lyric of the song “Take me to church” brings a strong and emotional message to the audience with only one purpose and is to identify the problems that homosexuality is having nowadays. As Hozier states in Billboard magazine “Growing up in Ireland, the church is always there- the hypocrisy, the political cowardice, the video has the same theme- an organization that undermines humanity” with this words Hozier wants to give the society a better understanding of what does the church and many governments when it comes to homosexuality. The music video gives a positive and a negative impression all depends in what way the society takes the message, one of the negatives view in this video could be the danger and aggression that homosexual people live in because instead of being accepted in society they are been persecuted and view with discrimination.
Homosexuality has been one of the most controversial topics in the world due to the lack of acceptance in society, therefore in this video Brendan Canty make a powerful point of view by informing the society the issue that the world is having against gay people, as for gays this video is a clear identification of the violence and discrimination that they constantly fear. Therefore, Kate L. Collier in her article Journal of Adolescence explain this issue by stating “Sexual prejudice, or negative attitudes toward homosexual behavior or lesbian, gay, or bisexual individuals or communities is understood to be a major determinant of antigay behavior”. Hozier’s lyrics and the video made by Brendan Canty give a strong visual argument to the society since that the song besides to be full of meaning, the video make a cultural statement that make both the lyric and the video seem more relevant.
Another fact why this music video is so controversial is due to the church beliefs when it comes to acceptation, “Take me to Church” as it is called this music video creates a unique message over the beliefs that many people had in the past decades, however is important to notice that this music video not only attacks the Catholic or other Religion but also the laws that many countries government have against gay people. In this video the songwriter is giving a strong message of humanity and adoration of love “Coming from Ireland, obviously, there’s a bit of a cultural hangover from the influence of the church. You’ve got a lot of people walking around with a heavy weight in their hearts and a disappointment, and that shit carries from generation to generation” Hozier states.
This music video shows a tragedy of a gay couple with the idea to show society not only the intolerance in religion but also demonstrating how long has been the discrimination against homosexuality. Russia as for this video play and important part due to the high discrimination in laws against homosexuality, one of these laws is Russia’s gay propaganda law that passed in 2013 the same year the Hozier released his music video, as a result of this law many LGBT activists have been detained and fined because of their support against the gay propaganda law, as an example of this is Maxim Neverov a 16 year-old boy who became the first minor charged under the Russia’s gay propaganda law; according to an article from NBC news Neverov was fined 50,000 rubles equal to $736 dollars more than the average monthly salary in Russia.
The songwriter Hozier in his song “Take me to Church” wants to give a clear representation of the acts and doings that most homophobic societies are making and have made against homosexuals through the years, as a research made by Jessica Mange states “the gender effect evidences that men, compared to women, tend to express more prejudice toward homosexuals. Yet the expression of prejudice is often moderated nowadays by an egalitarian norm calling for more tolerant attitudes”, therefore Hozier with his song wants to give another point of view in which people can see the way that homosexuals are suffering in society just because the meaning of love is a whole different version for them than for a straight men and women.
Homosexuality and freedom have been one of the most relevant issues around the world and this is because most of the society cannot accept homosexuality since they see this at something erratic from their religious point of view. Therefore, this song as Hozier states in one of his interview is about “reclaiming your humanity through an act of love” Hozier also make an important statement about his video by saying that the video is a clear reference of the anti-gay events in Russia, these facts made it from the artist make an important claiming in society for gay rights due to the discrimination and the treatment that they are facing.
Discrimination has been a largely issue around the world but in most countries like is Ireland and Russia this issue is more serious since it has become in hate crimes, according to a poll made it by the Pulitzer center “43 percent of Russians think gay and lesbian are immortal. 77 percent are against gay marriage, 40 percent support discrimination based on sexual orientation and 82 percent are against gay pride parades.” Therefore, this poll represents the opinion that most of the Russians have when it comes to gay people, another relevant fact from this poll is the increase in hate crimes against gay population since homosexuality in Russia doesn’t have the support of the government, therefore they are an easy target for most people.
In most societies the intolerance through homosexuality has caused a big impact and tragedy through the gay community at some point that they hide themselves due to the intolerance and hate that many people have towards them, for this reason Kirk A. Johnson in his article High-risk behavior among adolescences: implications for treatment and support states “For gay adolescents, however, they may have already learned to doubt their abilities and self-control. Those who have experienced that early awareness of ‘differentness’ have often learned to hide feelings and behaviors that result in criticism, ridicule, and often physical and/or sexual abuse from peers, family, and others.”
The message from this music video is to give the society another look at the community gay and show that homosexuality is not a threat for other people instead Hozier in his music video want to give society a better look of humanity and acceptance whether a person might be heterosexual or homosexual, likewise this video make a outstanding representation of the treatment that many governments made towards the homosexuality. As we know both the video and the lyric are really important in order to make a better understanding of the message and the metaphors that this lyric bring with it, one of the most visible metaphor we can look at this lyric is “sacrifice” since homosexuals don’t have any other option that live in oppression due to the fear, discrimination and the hate crimes against homosexuality from society.
In conclusion this music video represents the reality that homosexual people are living day by day due to the high discrimination around the world, therefore this music video wants to demonstrate that gay people are living in a constantly fear instead of living as any normal person and having the chance to be accepted in society not matter what their beliefs or how they were educated. Therefore, “Take me to Church” made a clear vision of his message where the songwriter reinforces his opinion about sex without criticizing how each person see themselves.